A new partnership between a company that provides housing to seniors and a private health insurer is helping to cut Medicare costs, The Dallas Morning News reported. The pilot program offers supplemental private insurance to residents of Erickson Retirement Communities, which owns 18 facilities nationwide, the newspaper said.
The premiums are used to pay for on-site physicians and nurses. Because physicians work where residents live, it's easier for residents to visit them and for staff to alert doctors of potential problems. By keeping closer tabs on patients and catching problems early, the number of costly hospital stays paid for by Medicare is reduced.
Currently, 2,300 seniors are enrolled. "The only question is whether Erickson can continue that success as the number of enrollees grows," Jeffrey Kramer, director of the Center for Health Care and Insurance Studies at the University of Connecticut, told the newspaper.